Cities in dispute over Republican flag raising

Republican flag flying outside the municipal building of Cadiz. Photo: Europa Press
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• Podemos-backed Cadiz mayor defies Madrid government by hoisting flag
• Spain’s government also challenges Republican flag raising in Zaragoza •

A decision by the Podemos-led muncipal council of the city of Cadiz to hoist the Spanish Republican flag over city hall on the 85th anniversary of the Second Republic today has stirred controversy and a court challenge by the central government’s office in Andalucia over the constitutionality of the flag-raising. Similar incidents also occurred Thursday in Valencia and Zaragoza.

Cadiz mayor José María ‘Kichi’ González, who was elected mayor as candidate of the Podemos-supported Por Cádiz sí se puede (“For Cadiz, Yes We Can”) coalition, has defended the ceremonial raising of the Republican flag on legal and constitutional grounds. In addition to the flag raising, other ceremonies commemorating the anniversary include installation of a plaque commemorating the Republican mayor of Cadiz and 21 city councilors executed by firing squad in 1936 by Nationalist forces loyal to Gen. Francisco Franco.

In all three cities, the local Delegación del Gobierno offices have challenged the Republican flag displays on the basis of a 1981 law that Spain’s government says mandates the Spanish national flag as the sole national symbol to be displayed on both the inside and outside of municipal government buildings throughout Spain.

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